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Leskov, Nikolaj Semyonovich

(163 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Dec 4/16, 1831, Gorochovo near Orël – Feb 21/Mar 5, 1895, St. Petersburg), Russian author. The grandson of a clergyman, Leskov became familiar with the Orthodox Church at an early age. As an orphan, he was brought up in the household of a professor of medicine in Kiev, and spent years traveling throughout Russia in the employ of a trading company. Working as a professional journalist and employed by the ministry of culture from 1862 onward, he reflected the numerous experiences g…

Yaroslav the Wise

(164 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Mudry; c. 978 – Feb 20, 1054), son of St. Vladimir the Great. As vice-regent of Novgorod, in 1019 he expelled his elder brother Svyatopolk from Kiev; in 1036, after the death of his younger brother Mstislav of Chernigov and Tumutarakan, he became sole ruler of the Kievan Rus’ empire, which experienced its golden age under him. He expanded his capital after the model of Constantinople; among other building projects, he oversaw the building of the stone Cathedral of St. Sophia in K…

Racovian Catechism

(161 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] has become the widely accepted title of the most important doctrinal text of the Antitrinitarian Church of the Polish Brethren. Valentin Schmalz, Johannes Völkel, and Hieronymus Moskoszowski were the authors of this catechism, which includes preliminary work by F. Socinus; they worked as teachers in the secondary school founded in 1603 in the small town of Raków near Sandomierz. It was also there that the catechism was printed in Polish in 1605, in German in 1608, and in Latin in …

Amvrosii, Starets of Optina

(182 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Aleksandr Grenkov; Nov 23, 1812, Bolshie Lipovicy near Lipeck – Oct 10, 1891, Shamordino near Kozelsk). Amvrosii was the son of a cantor. After seminary studies at Tambov, he became a tutor and then language teacher at the seminary in Lipeck. In 1839 he entered the Optina hermitage near Kozelsk, where he was clothed as a novice in 1842. In 18…

Socinus, Faustus

(162 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Dec 5, 1539, Siena – Mar 3, 1604, Lucławice, near Cracow), a leading thinker of the antitrinitarian movement (Antitrinitarians, Socinians) of his era, shaped its churches in Poland and to some extent in Transylvania. Born a patrician, he served from 1562 to 1574 as a jurist at the Medici court in Florence; inspired by his uncle Lelio Sozzini, who did not believe the doctrine of the Trinity, he devoted himself to theological study, primarily at Basel, from 1572 to 1578, attracting attention with his first writings (including De Jesu Christo servatore, printed in 1594).…

Częnstochowa,

(173 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] a large city in southern Poland, has been an episcopal see since 1925 (in 1995, with a Catholic population of 837,500 in 286 parishes). A monastery of Pauline hermits (originally Hungarian but now represented only in Poland), founded in 1382 on the Jasna Góra (“Shining Mountain”), is the most important pilgrimage destination in Poland. Devotion centers on the Black Madonna, a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary dating from the 14th century, which has been blackened by the smoke of candles. Since 1655, when the monastery was …

Duchoborcy

(151 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (“spiritual warriors”) is the appellation given to adherents of the “Spiritual Christians,” an extremely spiritualist wing of the Old Russian sectarian movement (Russian sects) which separated in the last third of the 18th century from the equally anti-cult, but still Scripture-bound Molocanes (see also All-Union Council of Evangelical Christians and …

Folly, Holy

(287 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] The Eastern Church, following 1 Cor 4:10ff., describes as such the ascetic practice of publicly ¶ exposing oneself to mistreatment and isolation through feigned mental incapacity and, thus, of protecting oneself from the danger of popular admiration. It presumes a Christian environment and the absence of institutions for the mentally ill. Holy folly appeared first in the 4th century in a nun in Egypt, then occasionally in the Near East; it came to Russia in the 11th century and reached its greate…

Nikon

(278 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Nikita Minich; May 24, 1605, Veldemanovo near Nizhny Novgorod – Aug 17, 1681, Yaroslavl), patriarch of Moscow. Initially a secular priest, after the death of his three children he persuaded his wife to take the veil and in 1635 became a monk (taking the name Nikon) in a hermitage in northern Russia; in 1642 he became abbot of a desert monastery. There in 1646 he met Tsar Alexis, then 17 years old; he greatly impressed the tsar, who had Nikon appointed archimandrite of the Novospa…

Henry of Livonia

(164 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (c. 1188, near Magdeburg – after 1259, Papendorf). Henry of Livonia was educated in the canon seminary of Segeberg, went to Riga as a student of Bishop Albert of Buxhöveden in 1205, was ordained to the priesthood in 1208, and spent his entire life as pastor among the northern Latvians in Papendorf (Latvian Rubene) near Wenden (Latvian Cēsis). From this location, he participated in over 30 military campaigns against the still heathen Livonians and Estonians, while he and his assistants baptized more than 10,000 people during his numerous…

Herman of Alaska, Saint

(171 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (1757, Serpuchov, Russia – Dec 13, 1837, Spruce Island, Alaska). Herman entered the Trinity-St. Serge Hermitage near St. Petersburg at the age of 16 and transferred to Valaam Monastery in 1778. In 1793, the abbot sent him with seven other monks to Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska to care for the Russian trappers and furriers there, but also in order to evangelize the native population. Apart from a few minor interruptions, the conduct of the Kodiak mission was effectively in hi…

Slavophiles

(466 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
When Russian philosophy became independent in the early 19th century, a prominent question was that of the relation of Russia to Europe, which J. P. Chaadayev (1794–1856) raised in his Lettres philosophiques (1827–31; ET Philosophical Letters [Knoxville, Tenn., 1969]). A “Western” group of thinkers wanted a full and swift adoption of the achievements of the West, but another group, the Slavophiles, argued for Russia’s independence and even superiority and hence advocated separate enterprises. It is hard to draw a distinction betwee…

Stundism

(492 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
Stundism refers to a free church movement that arose in 1861 in southern Russia. It called itself the Brethren of the Friends of God, but it came to be known as Stundism (Ger. Stunde, “hour”) because of its link with the German Reformed “observing of the hours” at Rohrbach, near Odessa. For the Stundists, reading and discussing the Bible came to be viewed as more important than maintaining the external Orthodox rites of worship (Bible Study). The movement arose in the context of other indigenous sects going back to the middle o…

Starets

(486 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
A starets (Russ., lit. “old man, elder”; pl. startsy) is a spiritual adviser in the Orthodox Church, not necessarily a priest, recognized for his piety and spiritual insight. The choice of an experienced ascetic (Asceticism) who deserved special honor as an older Christian (Gk. gerōn = Russ. starets) to act as a confessor was an early feature of Eastern monasticism (Orthodoxy Christianity). In view of the Russian term for gerōn, such men came to be known as startsy toward the end of the 18th century, when they became most influential in Russia. With the developme…

Old Believers

(644 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
“Old Believers” (Russ. Raskolniki, “Schismatics”) is the name given to those Christians in the Russian Orthodox Church who in the mid-17th century opposed the liturgical reforms of the Moscow patriarch Nikon (1605–81). They themselves took the name “Old Ritualists” or “Old Orthodox,” claiming to be the only ones to continue true Orthodoxy (Orthodox Christianity; Orthodox Church). Those reforms were avowedly to restore ancient uses but were in point of fact an importation of contemporary Greek pract…

Orthodoxe Kirchen

(8,269 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter | Thöle, Reinhard | Felmy, Karl Christian
[English Version] I. Kirchengeschichtlich 1.Begriffsgeschichte Der Orthodoxiebegriff (vgl. auch Orthodoxie: I.) stammt aus dem hell. Judentum. So empfiehlt Flavius Josephus »τη`n̆ ο᾿ρϑη`n̆ δο´ξαn̆ περι` Θεου˜/tē´n orthē´n do´xan peri´ Theou´« anstelle der griech. Mythen und überliefert, daß die Essener die anderen Juden als »ε῾τερο´δοξοι/hetero´doxoi« betrachtet hätten (Flav.Jos.Apion. II 256; Bell. II 129). Dieser Sprachgebrauch griff seit dem 2.Jh. auch auf das Christentum über. Entscheidend für seine kirchl. Ausprägung wurde 843…

Platon

(150 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[English Version] Platon, Metropolit von Moskau (Petr Egorov, später Levsˇin; 29.6.1737 Cˇasˇnikovo bei Moskau – 11.11.1812 Vifanija bei Sergiev Posad). Nach dem Studium an der Moskauer Akademie lehrte er zunächst dort, später am Seminar der Troice Sergieva Lavra. Als dessen Rektor seit 1761 beeindruckte er Katharina II. so stark, daß sie den begabten Prediger zum Religionslehrer ihres Sohnes berief. 1766 wurde er Archimandrit der Lavra, die er schon seit 1763 in Stellvertretung geleitet hatte. De…

Slawophile

(246 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[English Version] nennt man jene Vertreter des russ. Geisteslebens seit Beginn des 19.Jh., die der slaw. Eigenart ihres Volkes unter dem Einfluß der Romantik entscheidende Zukunftsbedeutung beilegen. Sie stehen damit im Gegensatz zu den sog. »Westlern«, die Rußland unbedingt das Erbe der westeur. Aufklärung aufdrängen wollten. Die von P. Tschaadaev in seinen »Philos. Briefen« (seit 1836) aufgeworfene Frage nach dem Verhältnis Rußlands zu Europa wurde als schicksalhaft empfunden. Die von den ältere…

Paläologus

(144 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[English Version] Paläologus, Jakob (um 1520 Insel Chios – 1585 Rom), radikaler Antitrinitarier, der sich als Abkömmling der letzten byz. Kaiserdynastie ausgab. In Italien als Dominikaner in Schwierigkeiten mit der Inquisition geraten, konnte er um 1559 fliehen. 1570/71 hielt er sich in Prag auf, 1571/72 in Krakau, 1572–1574 in Klausenburg. 1573 reiste er in die Türkei und zweimal nach Polen. 1575 lebte P. in Alzen bei Hermannstadt, danach in Polen und Mähren. 1581 durch den Bf. von Olmütz der Inqu…

Wachtang Gorgasal

(142 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[English Version] Wachtang Gorgasal, (Vahtang Gorgasali; 1. Hälfte des 5.Jh. – 502), König von Iberien (Ostgeorgien). Sein Beiname bedeutet »Wolfskopf« und leitet sich von seiner Helmzier her. Die seit seiner Thronbesteigung um 446 verfolgten Ziele einer Stärkung seiner Zentralgewalt und ihrer Ausdehnung auf ganz Georgien sowie dessen Lösung aus der Abhängigkeit vom pers. Sasanidenreich waren 483 vorübergehend erreicht. Gleichzeitig setzte er beim Patriarchen von Antiochien die Weihe seines Kandid…
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